Ladies We Love: Chef Tiffany Derry (and a holiday recipe!)

December 16, 2011 at 12:38 pm , by

Chef Tiffany Derry's Gnudi with Brown Butter, Peas and Mushrooms

How does chef Tiffany Derry (of Top Chef fan-favorite fame) handle holiday parties for her 70-person (!) family?

“My grandmother is really the only one who can wrangle all of us,” she says. “But I know you also need to plan ahead and make as much as you can the day before. That’s why I love my gnudi pasta dish—you can roll the balls and store them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook. Then all you need to do is boil some water, grab a sauté pan, and you’re good to go.”

If you’ve never heard of gnudi, it’s an addicting “naked ravioli” dish (click here for the recipe). Tiffany serves a variation with oxtails at her new restaurant in Dallas, Private Social, but for for the home cook, she’s created a recipe that swaps in easy-to-use mushrooms to complement the savory, gotta-have-it brown butter, and of course, lots of cheese. That’s why she’s teamed up with Sargento—the makers of the natural, unprocessed cheeses Tiffany likes cook with—this holiday season. When the cheese is the star of your dish, quality and flavor matter!

“When you cut into it and you see the melting cheese, you think, ‘Oh yeah, it’s going to be good!’ ” Tiffany says.

Cheese bites not enough to cure your Tiffany fix?  We also asked the chef to spill some of her hopes and dreams with our Ladies We Love questions:

What makes me a lady:
My southern hospitality charm.

Favorite guilty pleasure:
Foie gras. I’m not a big dessert or chocolate fan, but if you give me some foie gras … oh my gosh. I tell people in my group, if we order it for the table, it’s okay if you don’t want any!

Three things on my life list:
I want to visit Thailand—I love Asian cuisine. In fact, I’d also like to go back to China and study their food for two months. And, if I ever slow down, I would love to have a child.

I could have a super power, it would be:
I would have twin so that I could be everywhere. I’d have one that stays at my restaurant, and one that travels the world and does all of the events. I would have the best of both worlds, and nothing would be lacking.

A lady I admire:
Oprah Winfrey. How can you not? She is the ultimate woman. I love that with hard work and just going after her dreams, she made it happen. And now she has her own network. Are you kidding me? How many people have their own network?

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Your Guide to Eco-Friendly Gift Giving This Season

December 5, 2011 at 10:05 am , by

’Tis the season for, well, tons of stuff. Department store circulars crowd our mailboxes (and coupon codes flood our e-mail), the new totally-bigger-than-last-year’s TVs jut dangerously out of car trunks, and gift closets overflow with trinkets for the people you didn’t think to buy for anyway, but “shoot!” those neighborly jerks just brought over bottle of your favorite wine.

Ugh. There has to be a way to feel at least a little better about all of this.

I’m into the “going green” lifestyle, and I like to be pretty discerning about what I put in and on my body and around my home (case in point, after moving into my first grown-up New York City apartment this week, my Seventh Generation cleaning products, Dr. Bronner’s all-in-one soap and BPA-free water bottle were among the first things I unpacked). And because I care about how I live, if I’m going to add to my loved ones ever-growing inventory of stuff yet again this December, it would be great to give gifts with at least some earth-friendly redeeming qualities.

The folks at Origins, a beauty line that promotes its natural ingredients, agree, so they teamed up with eco-tastemakers to lend some easy, green ideas we can all try this holiday season. Their first video, with best-selling novelist Emily Giffin and eco-minded event planner April Trigg, offer the coolest green gifts you can give this year, many of which are made from awesome recycled or reclaimed materials. I especially love the salvaged tin ceiling photo frames April found—they’re perfect for your shabby chic sister.

Watch the video below for the rest of her picks (and get her handy where-to-buy-it list here) and head over to with the special code GOODTOGLOW for a surprise at checkout. Want more tips on how to make your holiday a little more green? New videos will arrive each week on Origin’s Facebook page, including eco-chic holiday fashion with designer Vivienne Tam and green holiday decor with interior designer Robin Wilson.

5 Reasons the Holidays Are Good For You

December 22, 2010 at 3:48 pm , by

The holidays get such a bad rap for being the time of year when overwhelming stress and irresistible, fattening treats lurk around every corner. Yes, it’s stressful and double yes, it’s hard to resist the myriad cookies and candies and cocktails just begging to be consumed. But there are things about the holidays that are good for you—as long as you remember to rein it in and relax.

So we say enjoy! Here are some healthy tidbits about five of our favorite holiday staples.

  1. Holiday Cocktails
  2. Alcohol in moderation (no more than a drink or two a day) has been shown to reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and possibly even diabetes. In fact, moderate drinkers live longer than those who don’t drink at all, so you can feel good about imbibing a bit. Just be sure to designate a non-drinking driver!

  3. Shopping
  4. The stress from packed malls and frantic fellow shoppers is enough to make you want to give up on gift-giving altogether. But remember this as you’re doing that last-minute buying: Exchanging gifts makes you happier by strengthening bonds and evoking gratitude, which studies show makes for a longer, healthier life.

  5. Chocolate
  6. There’s no replacement for fruits and vegetables, but chocolate, especially dark chocolate, is packed with some of the same antioxidants found in plants that protect against heart disease and cancer. Sure, even the darkest chocolate has some sugar and fat, so savor it slowly and you’ll feel satisfied.

  7. Family Time
  8. Getting together is so much more fun if you can forget about expectations and enjoy your loved ones, quirky as they may be, for who they are. If you feel a conflict coming on, take a few deep breaths and just let go. You’ll find a kind of liberation in compromise and acceptance. You don’t always have to be the peacemaker, either.

  9. Nuts
  10. When in doubt, reach for the nut bowl—all types of nuts are rich in the monounsaturated or “good” fats that are crucial for heart health. Walnuts in particular are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce your risks for a whole host of health problems, from high cholesterol to arthritis. Nuts are crunchy and loaded with fiber so you’ll feel full on a small handful and maybe even not as tempted by the other goodies.

Happy, healthy holidays to all from your LHJ health editors!

Photo via Fashion&Style

Dishing It: A Festive Martini for any Martini Lover

December 17, 2010 at 10:43 am , by

gag-pomcocktaildrinkBack in October, I decided to make The Pioneer Woman’s Holiday Pom Cocktail, featured in our December/January issue, for all the holiday parties I would be invited to in December. Turns out I was only invited to 1 party… guess I am not as popular as I was last year!

The party was at my dear friend Jess’ apartment in the West Village. Her apartment is very nice and has very light colored furniture. Immediately I thought: klutzy me + red colored drink + light furniture =  disaster! I promised myself that I would not leave the kitchen with the drink and neither would anyone else drinking it. I reassured my friend who didn’t seem too concerned (did she not remember all the times I spilled diet coke during our art history lectures in college?!?)  I also brought straws- just to be extra safe!

I lugged all the ingredients cross-town to the party. The only thing I didn’t have was the sanding sugar, so I put real sugar around my solo cup. Oh yeah I didn’t have martini glasses egag-pomdrinkither. Note to those making the drink: Do as I say, not as I do… put more emphasis on presentation! It matters. Why make a fancy cocktail if you aren’t going to use a fancy glass!

Anyway, I thought it came out pretty good and the few who braved the crowded kitchen thought the same. Any martini and pomegranate lover would be pleased. It’s easy and delicious and worth making.

Please note: none of the pictures I took that night was acceptable, which was too bad because I wearing my New Year’s sequined jacket. The shot above is of me drinking an equally delicious drink at our company holiday party in front of a pianist with a funny chair… Cheers and Happy Holidays!

Go Ask Gab: What I’m Giving This Year

December 14, 2010 at 2:35 pm , by

gag- pink santa

I love giving gifts almost as much as I love getting them. We gave you some great gifts ideas in the magazine and online, but here’s what I’m buying this holiday season!

My Best Friend Who Has Everything: A girl who has it all is always a tough person to shop for, but coffee table books are a safe bet. This year I think a wonderful gift is the Barbie Fashion Model book. As a person who is impossible to shop for, I would love this book (I have a weird obsession with Barbie and doll images… I have a collection).

My Football Fanatic Brother-in-Law: The minute I saw this toaster that imprints the logo of your favorite team on your toast, I knew I needed to get this for him (he’s a huge Dallas Cowboys fan). I like that the toaster design is sleek so my sister won’t get mad at me for uglying-up her kitchen.

My Adorable Nephew: He asked Santa for cars, trucks, toys and pots and pans (seriously how cute!). Of course I will get him toys but I will also be picking up some practical gifts like clothes (of course). Mini BodenThe Children’s Place and The Gap always have the best stuff for boys.

My Pregnant Older Sister:  I always like to give gifts that give back so I think getting a pair of Toms for my sister is perfect. The gold ones would be great because they’re an easy way to look chic while you’re pregnant and chasing after a 2-year-old.

My Twin Sister: She is in the process of buying an apartment so I thought I would get her some art for her walls. I made her something (yes, I am bit of an artist!) and I also plan on getting her this Shining-inspired poster. Creepy twins… perfect!

My Fabulous Mom: My mom is hard to shop for so I will check out one of her favorite stores, Talbots. I’m thinking she could use a new pair of gloves and this pretty necklace.

My Wino Dad: Just joking—he just loves his wine. I’m getting him some of my new favorite, affordable wine: “Red” from the St Francis Winery. Not only is it good, but it’s inexpensive and has nice packaging too… very Pollack-eque, no?

Hostess Gifts: I’m stopping by a few holiday parties this year so I’m going to grab some of these Marimekko bread baskets. I love them! (In fact I’m going to keep one for myself to store all my bracelets in… One woman’s bread is another woman’s bracelets.)

The Best Boss in the Whole World: Um, considering she works here… I’m not telling! But it will be something cool for her new home from one of the following places: Anthropologie, Johnathan Adler or Etsy.

So what gifts are you buying this year?

** Pink Santa photo taken by me at Hotel Shangri-La, Santa Monica, CA!

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Cheat Sheet: Go Ahead and Watch a Christmas Movie

December 10, 2010 at 12:59 pm , by

The Internets were a little quiet this week, which can only mean one thing: Christmas is coming! Instead of surfing for entertainment on the web, why not curl up with a Christmas movie this weekend? Some of my favorites:

Elf: “Santa! I KNOW him!”

A Christmas Story: “The Holy Grail of Christmas Gifts”

Love Actually: “All I Want for Christmas Is You”

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation: “250 Strands of Lights”

It’s a Wonderful Life: “An Angel Got Its Wings”

A Charlie Brown Christmas: “O Christmas Tree”

Can This Marriage Be Saved? I Can’t Stand the Holidays

December 9, 2010 at 4:40 pm , by

5206853282_8dea204404The holiday season seems to mean something different to everyone. Some love the revelry and host over-the-top celebrations, and some mark the season quietly and without much fanfare. No matter what your personal preference, it’s pretty tough to avoid reminders of the holidays. From TV ads with dancing elves to store circulars urging you to drop your cash on the latest and greatest, there’s a lot of ho-ho-hoing going on. So what happens when, for whatever reason, you can’t stand this jolly time of year?

The couple in this week’s Can This Marriage Be Saved? post, originally featured in our December 2003 issue,  is dealing with that very issue. Kim, a 36-year-old music teacher who’s married to Steve, a 46-year-old postal worker, feels depressed and anxious about the season, while her husband loves the holidays and insists on grand family celebrations. Listen in.

Kim’s side: She’d prefer to spend the entire season in bed. Not a natural hostess, Kim feels pressured to make the holidays “perfect” for Steve and the family, even though she doesn’t get along well with his kids from his first marriage. Her stepdaughter’s husband is rude and sarcastic to her, and Steve doesn’t say a word. She’s gone along with the traditions for the 10 years they’ve been married but finally outlawed the celebrations, and she ruled out holiday treats because as a recovered bulimic, she can’t handle the sweets in the house. Her childhood was tough: After her father died when she was young, her mother was physically abusive. She’s also exhausted from working seven-day weeks, and their sex life is kaput. Read more